It is easier for a camel to pass through/enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Luke 18:25, Mark 10:25, Matthew 19:24). I woke up to this and felt compelled to write about it.
It has been a common observation of mine that people become cocky once they get rich. The richer they get, the cockier they get. This can be seen even in nations. Once a nation gets rich, the people end up becoming ethnocentric. When Rome was at its peak, they called the people beyond their frontiers barbarians. The same can be said about Europeans when they colonized so many nations. They treated Native Americans like animals. The same is true about the colonists who came to India. Surprisingly, when India was at its peak, they called Europeans uncivilized.
In the modern era, people accuse the US of being a bunch of cocky pricks. Some have accused the Gulf states of thinking that they are better than the rest of the world. Some have accused Israelites of thinking they are God's people and the rest of the population is doomed to hell. Chinese have also been accused of the very same.
Regardless of the veracity of how true these accusations are, it is more or less true that economic success somehow corrupts the mind of man. Perhaps, it is the power that comes with money. But not progressing economically isn't a good idea either. Poverty is by means to be celebrated. How then can we have both economic and spiritual progress?
The answer was revealed to me today. We can have both if we don't attach ourself to the products of our labor. Accumulation makes a man cocky not earning. It makes more sense once we understand that the purpose of money was to be spent on meaningful products and services, not to be accumulated. Money was invented to oil barter. This does not mean, however, that we should give away all our money. We can earn as much as we like to, but we shouldn't be sitting on it like a nordic dragon. The possession or hoarding of money is what makes a man think of himself as more than just a man.
If we stay detached from our own economic success, it won't make us cocky. Work hard. If it makes you rich, so be it, but don't be tied to it. If it doesn't make you rich, guess it's called life.